Gourmet News : A Fantastic Pho, Vietnamese Buffet, Plaza Brasserie

Asian Food Masters make a comeback scene once again at Parkroyal on Beach Road’s Plaza Brasserie. Just two weeks ago, the restaurant ran a specialty Penang buffet where popular dishes are whipped up by chefs flown in from the Malaysian state to share the good taste with Singapore diners. From the 3rd to the 19th of June, Plaza Brasserie refreshes its concept once again with the Flavours of Vietnam making its way to the headlines of the restaurant’s buffet menu.

For these two plus weeks, Senior Asian Sous Chef De Tieu Trinh and Chef De Parties Hung Quoc Ha, guest chefs and both from Parkroyal Saigon in Vietnam will be recreating Vietnamese favourites such as the Deef Fried Vietnamese Spring Rolls, Pan-fried Flour Cake with Prawns and Scallop and Vietnamese Beef Noodles Soup. To add to the spread, the restaurant will also be serving an assortment of Vietnamese Salads like the Bon Bon with Pork and Prawn Salad and the Duck with Banana Flower Salad.

To really add to the Vietnamese experience, I think they should have brought in some Vietnamese staff dressed in their traditional attire and going around serving guests. Just a thought, just a thought.

The number of guests at Parkroyal on Beach Road’s Plaza Brasserie seemed to have exploded into a mini population frenzy. I arrived at the restaurant at about 12pm, and the whole restaurant was already packed with slightly snaking queues being formed. Asking around, it just so happened that an organisation was having a Vietnamese Cultural Immersion programme hosted by the Hotel with the two guest chefs from Saigon demonstrating their culinary specialties.

The whole restaurant was really put to the test today with stations being quickly emptied and refilled, plates cleared, and almost all the chefs were working at top speed.

I first went for the Braised Duck with Young Bamboo Shoot as recommended by the restaurant staff. Its very tasty with a good deep duck flavour in the broth. Bamboo shoots were a fine crunch and crisp to the bite. Only problem, for the portion I took, the duck meat was tough. 

Ah but its all happiness when it comes to the Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup – the Pho. The stock is savoury, clear, yet tastily rich in a smooth lasting flavour. The noodles itself carried up the broth with ease, and the beef was fresh and tender. The meat goes well with a dip of Hoisin sauce and for those who prefer the Pho a little saltier, there is some special light sauce to add in. Mmmm.

I went for 2 bowls, and for those who don’t take beef, there is a Chicken alternative.

This might seem like a way to start for a Vietnamese breakfast or simply to engage in a snack. The Pan-fried Flour Cake with Prawns and Scallop is almost reminiscent of the traditional pancake just with plenty of seafood savoury items stuffed and fried together. Remember to drizzle the special light sauce all around to bring out the briny flavours and add a certain sparkle to the dish, otherwise, it will really just taste like a pan-fried flour cake.

The next most popular thing I remember about Vietnamese cuisine are the Vietnamese Spring Rolls. Two varieties are available. The fresh spring roll is probably one of my favourites. Maybe its because of the notion that everything is veggie and seafood that gives the impression of healthy eats (although the peanut sauce is just pure decadence itself), so I was really excited when I saw the chefs rolling the fresh spring rolls away. The spring rolls are really stuffed full with various ingredients, and while the peanut sauce is decent to add sin to the word healthy, I feel it lacks a certain punch. Maybe a dash of salt to really drum up flavours would be ideal, but that would be easily rectified from our end with that innocently looking salt shaker. Ask the chef to make your spring roll skin a little softer if you like though, as I felt that some of mine were a little tough to break through and chewy. Requires a mouth popping experience if I may so add.


But for those who crave the crispy, the Deep-fried Vietnamese Spring Rolls are a thumbs up. A snack and meal by itself, the spring rolls are itself not presented with shimmers of oil, and the skin remains a nice crisp colour most of the time. Stuffing is quite generous and if you aren’t careful, you could just find yourself sneaking away pieces in your mouth without hesitation of the “I am full” or “There is always room for another one” concepts.

The two Asian Food Masters behind the scenes : Senior Asian Sous Chef De Tieu Trinh & Chef de Parties Hung Quoc Ha

Parkroyal on Beach Road’s Plaza Brasserie Flavours of Vietnam special in its buffet is probably a one pit stop to indulge in some of that fantastic Pho and Deep Fried Vietnamese Spring Roll since the chefs are in! And for their buffet, there is always something else to engage in apart from Vietnamese cuisine as the roast lamb, japanese counter, hot chinese food, cheese (yes cheese. select selection though), assortment of cakes, durian paste, bubor cha cha, chocolate fondue is also available.  This special buffet is available from the 3rd to the 19th of June during both lunch and dinner. Diners can also win a weekend stay for 2 persons at the Parkroyal Saigon. A little something for everyone. Let’s just hope that no sudden burst in crowd makes their grand appearance again, everyone is just so hungry.

Many thanks to Karen, Parkroyal on Beach Road for the invitation.

Plaza Brasserie
PARKROYAL on Beach Road
7500A Beach Road
Tel : 6505 5666

Opens From : 6am to Midnight

Authentic Flavours of Vietnam

Date : 3rd to 19th June 2011
Lunch : Adult $38++
Dinner : Adult $45++